Parents' Guide to

Minamata

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Moving drama about activist/photographer has mature content.

Movie R 2021 115 minutes
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This drama is another entry in Depp's filmography that successfully showcases his expansive ability to lose himself in characterization. The actor is masterful at portraying Smith's world-weariness, as well as his deep well of love for humanity, especially when it comes to huge movements -- whether that means documenting the Vietnam War or a protest.

Thankfully, Minamata doesn't go the way of The Last Samurai or other films that set a White protagonist as the emotional center of a film about Japanese people. Yes, we're following Eugene's journey, but we're also following the townspeople's journeys equally, especially when it comes to the force that is Mitsuo. Sanada is able to show off more of his acting chops here than he is in American productions, and it's a joy to see. The only issue is that you want to see even more of his magnetic presence on-screen. Overall, Minamata is a moving story about a group of people who succeed, even if it's a small success, against the so-called untouchable capitalist fat cats. It offers a blueprint for others to become activists, knowing that they can change society by joining with other like-minded people and staying the course toward victory.

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